• Brooke Donnelly

Does body count really matter? A personal experience

More often than not I lie about my body count. And now that I’ve started dating again I’ve been very anxious about how many more people my number will rise. I am almost too nervous to be a player in the field again. Is there a chance I’ll meet the man I spend the rest of my life with if I sat on the bench?


That’s the life I want. One man to build a life with and go on adventures with. But the more my body count increases somehow makes me feel less worthy of a wholesome life with someone.


But… why?


I’ve never been concerned with how my life is perceived in the eyes of others. I’ve always done what I want, lived how I want and loved how I want. So why am I so concerned when it comes to my body count?




I’ve seen in Pop Culture women tackle the same issue with themselves. But their number is nowhere close to mine. I find no comfort or reassurance from these stories that are meant for women like me.


For instance, in ‘What’s Your Number?’ the main character’s (played by Anna Ferris) number is 20. According to this story, women who sleep with more than 21 men never get married. Great. What a great reassurance for us women who’ve overtaken Anna’s character and are still dating. Meaning there’s a guarantee our number will raise a little more while we sift through the assholes first.


In another book, ‘It’s Been a Pleasure, Noni Blake’, her number only gets to 20 and she travelled through Europe on an almost ‘sex quest’. Again, I’ve overtaken this number and I’m still on an European adventure. An adventure many of us go on. Where some of us meet others and one thing leads to another and there’s extra bodies added to your count.


On my count there are some one night experiences that I know I didn’t regret at the time. They were fun stories with memories attached. But now I know that’s not what I want. Sex is more about a connection for me. I still talk to men, as friends, that I’ve had sex with and this is what I enjoy about sex, connecting and having continued respect for each other afterwards. I know, without those one-night stand experiences I wouldn’t have learnt this. I guess, I just don’t feel great that they’re there, taking up space on my count, making me feel ashamed of that number and offering nothing more than a memory.




There’s also two nonconsensual numbers, (one I’m not actually sure belongs there because I don’t remember a thing), that took me a while to make peace with. Those two took a lot of time to accept and heal from. Maybe I feel ashamed because I think I have to explain there’s two on my count because I was silly enough to trust them and ended up getting taken advantage of.


I am still trying to make sense of why I am anxious about my count. Like I said, I’ve started dating again and knowing the chances are low that the next man I have sex with will be ‘the one’ causes doubts for me being back in the field. I don’t judge other women on their number, however. I’m proud of them. Of their experiences, of their confidence, of them living the life they want. I would never, ever think a woman weak, silly or naive if they’ve ever been assaulted or taken advantage of. So why am I so harsh on myself? Why do I feel I need to lie about my number when it comes up in conversation?


Does body count really matter? Does it matter to you?


Have another question?

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